It’s always an exciting moment when you realize that it is time for your business to grow. It’s an affirmation that you are on the right path, that the chances that you have taken and the plans that you have made were the right ones. But growth, as essential as it is, is always a risk. How Do You Expand Your Team?
Big steps forward are always a bit of a gamble, especially right now. Things are looking a lot brighter out there than they were a few months ago, and we’re not just talking about the weather. The restrictions are rolling back on everything from international travel to nightlife. We can see our friends and family again after months of time apart, and we can finally look at heading back into the office to see if we can find something that resembles business as usual.
However, we all know that the hard times are far from over from a business perspective. We have been through enough ups and downs since March 2020 to expect that we are in for smooth sailing, which is why it is so important that we look before we leap.
There are challenges to be faced coming from pretty much every direction, from security threats to Brexit, and preparation is going to be crucial. If you are thinking of bringing some new people into your company in the coming months, here are a few tips to help you make the best choices and to make things go as smoothly as possible.
As much as expansion is an indicator of a business’ success, it is also the result of recognizing our weaknesses. We don’t think “that team is doing really well, let’s add another person.” We look for the groups that need support. We look at the tasks that are getting neglected. And, if we are thinking of growing as a business beyond the number of employees, we look at how we can best ensure success by bringing in the right people with the right skills.
With that in mind, one of your first steps should be to conduct an audit of your business’ performance over the last year or so. Which areas would struggle under the strain of increased business? If you give someone increased responsibility, which tasks need to be reassigned? Growing your team is about bringing in the talent and the people that you want, but it is more about what your business needs.
As much as we would like to think that things are going to go back to normal once the restrictions have all been lifted, the fact is that the world has changed irrevocably because of the pandemic. There are so many new challenges that have arisen because of COVID-19 that we can’t just put back in the box.
There are all the reasons that we have already discussed, from remote working to increased competition. There are the differences that the huge leaps forward in AI and automated technology are still creating. We are more aware of issues like mental health and the importance of diversity in the workplace.
We are living in a time where radical change can happen at any given time, both internally and externally. It is so important that you take steps to improve your leadership skills and that you have the tools you need to react to new developments while continuing to foster growth and morale in your team. A change leadership course would work wonders for your confidence and your ability. You can learn how to unlock the skills that you already have and learn how to be a more responsive, forward-thinking team leader.
Anyone who has ever been on the other side of the hiring process knows how grueling it can be. Combing through job posting after job posting hoping to find something that matches your interests and your skillset, and there is nothing worse than a posting that keeps things vague. One of those postings that has a general tone of “just impress us!” about it. From a business perspective, of course that makes sense, especially if you’re looking for someone who can handle a variety of different responsibilities.
But one of the things that you will discover if you have yet to post a job listing over the course of the pandemic is that you are going to be flooded with applications. Now, there are exceptions. There have been plenty of reports from industries such as hospitality and agriculture that have discussed labor shortages, blamed on everything from furlough to Brexit. But following the market crunch at the start of the pandemic, people with incredibly varied experience levels were all competing for the same jobs. Things are changing now, of course, as 200,000 jobs were advertised in the UK in the final week of June. And if you want to make sure that the right people are applying for the position that you are advertising, you still need to be very specific. Detail exactly what kind of person you are looking for, whether it is an entry, mid or senior position, and what the expectations are.
There are a lot of us out there who are thrilled at the prospect of going back to the office. We all know that there is a special kind of chemistry that occurs when a group of people are pulling together and bouncing ideas around in the same space.
We have made working from home work as well as we can, but if you haven’t fully committed to the idea of being a virtual workplace business by this point, chances are that you won’t.
However, we are sure that it won’t have escaped your attention that many people are anxious about the idea of heading back out and they would much prefer to continue working from home. You are going to need to ask yourself if your new hires need to be office based, or if they could work remotely. The latter will open the door to a much richer talent pool, but you need to think about what is best for your business.
We all had to figure out how to keep team morale up during the hard lockdown times. With things changing so quickly right now, you need to make sure that you continue to work at this. It is especially important at a time when you are thinking about expanding your business and bringing new people in.
Now, it is going to be even tougher than usual if you are still working completely remotely or operating a hybrid virtual-in person workplace. Look for activities that you can offer outside of working hours to bring your team together. Think about scheduling regular meetings where your staff can bounce ideas around, as well as venting about the things that they are struggling with. It is all too easy to lose sight of the personal element when things are so hectic on the business front, but remember that without your team, your business won’t run at all.